Browse all categories | Subscribe My Account | Logout
Browse all categories
< Back

The Hollywood hotel that hosted the first Oscars After-Party just got a major makeover

The Property Addict / Architecture & Design

United States of America / Los Angeles, California

Mar 02 2018

Add to Favorites

Share this Article:

Corinne Cyrilli, Architectural Digest

Late in the evening on May 16, 1929, Hollywood stars like Joan Crawford, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and Robert Montgomery filed into the Mayfair Hotel, located in the Westlake section of Los Angeles, for a glamorous, bourbon-filled party. The celebration was in honor of the very first Academy Awards ceremony, held nearby at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Now, one year shy of 90 after that historic evening, the Mayfair Hotel is throwing its doors open again—this time in celebration of its extensive 1920s-Hollywood–inspired renovation.

The Mayfair Hotel won't be open in time for Oscars weekend—the 15-story hotel, which underwent a renovation by designer Gulla Jónsdóttir, has plans to open in mid-April as of now—but it will be up and running by the "official" anniversary of the first Academy Awards in May, in case that's of interest to any history buffs. Regardless, Jónsdóttir, who also oversaw the remodel of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel ("I figured it was meant to be," she says of coming on board the Mayfair project), took particular care in making sure the property's film-industry history was preserved.

To reimagine old-Hollywood glamour in this modern setting, Jónsdóttir fully immersed herself in the mindset of the Roaring '20s. “I wanted to bring to life the characters that I thought should have, would have, or actually did stay at the hotel. So I made up these stories in my mind of Great Gatsby parties in the lobby, of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway being in the writing room, and of Salvador Dalí sitting in the Library Bar,” shares Jónsdóttir. “I imagined them and other figures like that just joining in beautiful conversations and martinis and bringing the space to life again.”

Breathing new life into the hotel also meant taking cues from its previous incarnation. “I was lucky enough to find the original set of drawings from 1923 and '24, so I used those as an inspiration,” says Jónsdóttir. In doing so, she stumbled upon beautiful design touches and architectural patterns that were no longer part of the hotel’s landscape (“I believe there was a fire at some point,” explains Jónsdóttir). She and her team of ten worked to bring back some of those original features. But while the hotel will have some throwbacks, including a communal writing room, it will also boast slightly more contemporary touches, like a custom Podcast Studio.

In addition to reimagining these historic figures and design details, the designer also relied on real-life Hollywood events—and scandals—of yesteryear as inspiration. For instance, the hotel’s restaurant, Eve, gets its namesake from Eve Cressy, the main character of Raymond Chandler’s short story "I’ll Be Waiting." Chandler wrote the famous prose while living at the Mayfair Hotel with his mistress in the 1930s. Another fun fact: The Oscar party that the hotel is so famous for was actually not completely above board. "The Mayfair Hotel 'after-party' was not a sanctioned Academy event. This was still the period of Prohibition, so the Mayfair event was designed for those revelers who wanted to drink and 'let their hair down' after the formal and official event at the Hollywood Roosevelt," explains Hollywood historian and author Jeffrey Vance.

To ensure the accuracy of the updates, Jónsdóttir and her team worked closely with the Los Angeles Historical Society throughout the renovation. “They approved everything as we went along and they liked the idea of bringing historical touches back,” she says. “They asked us to keep the original floor, which we did. It adds an urban charm.” They also refinished the original fluted columns in a soft charcoal-gray hue. But instead of recreating the original ceilings, the team opted to mimic the lacy look of the previous design with caged chandeliers that cast shadows upward. The fixtures make “exactly the pattern that was in the lobby ceiling before,” revealed Jónsdóttir. “It’s bridging the modern artistic touch and a historic design.”

SOURCE: Architectural Digest

img

You may also like...


Load More

bannerImage
bannerImage

Login into your MP Report account

Forgot my password

Sign up to the MP Report

Creating an account with MP Report allows you to save articles and update your preferences to filter the content based on your interests and what content you would like to receive from us via our email alerts and newsletter.

SIGN UP HERE >